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Bridge collapse: Structural auditor sent to police custody

twitter-logoPTI | March 19, 2019 | Updated 21:43 IST

Mumbai, Mar 19 (PTI) A local court Tuesday remanded structural auditor Neeraj Kumar Desai, arrested in connection with the last week's foot over-bridge (FOB) collapse here that left six people dead, to police custody till March 25. Desai, a director at Prof D D Desai's Associated Engineering Consultants and Analysts Pvt Ltd, was arrested Monday. This was the first arrest in the case. The firm was given a contract by the Mumbai civic body to audit the ill-fated FOB at CSMT railway station along with 74 other foot over-bridges across the metropolis. The structural auditor has been booked under IPC section 304-II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) by the Azad Maidan police. Offence under the section is punishable up to life imprisonment. Desai was produced before a magistrate's court where the police sought his custody for carrying out further probe into the March 14 tragedy. According to the police, Desai's firm had submitted incorrect structural audit report of the 40-year-old bridge. The firm declared the bridge safe for use despite some corrosion in the structure, they said. The police sought Desai's custody on the ground they had to recover documents related to the audit report and also look into the roles of civic and railway officials. The court accepted the police's arguments and remanded Desai to police custody till March 25. A major portion of the bridge, which linked the area near the BMC headquarters with the iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) station in south Mumbai, had caved in, killing six people and injuring 31 others. Officials concerned of the Mumbai civic body, responsible for the FOB's maintenance, and the Central Railway were also booked in the case. PTI SP DC RSY RHL

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